John Edwards about to crash and burn in a blaze of hairspray

According to the A.P. John Edwards billed his campaign for two $400 haircuts. His vanity will be fodder for late night comics, but his stupidity for billing his campaign for this may cost him the nomination.

John Edwards has already come under fire for being the champion of the poor while living in a multi-million dollar house. But America has had many examples of wealthy presidents addressing poverty. They tend not to hold wealth against candidates. But blatant displays of elitism are frowned upon.

Many people will scratch their own perfectly presentable $15 haircuts and wonder why John Edwards needs to have a personal celebrity barber (aka “hair stylist”) who apparently is the only one he trusts near his follicles.

I assume other politicians spend hundreds of dollars for their haircuts. No doubt some enterprising reporter will research the amount everyone from the president to first term members of Congress spend for haircuts, and it may turn out that even Senator Jon Testor’s crewcut cost a few hundred bucks.

But no one will accuse Senator Testor of not being manly. Edwards, however, already has the reputation of being a preening metrosexual.

Why not throw a juicy steak to the hungry rapid pit bulldog Ann Coulter, who called him a faggot:

FEC records show Edwards also availed himself of $250 in services from a trendy salon and spa in Dubuque, Iowa, and $225 in services from the Pink Sapphire in Manchester, N.H., which is described on its Web site as “a unique boutique for the mind, body and face” that caters mostly to women. Article

The facts about the visit to the Pink Sapphire visit are spelled out at the end of the article, but many people won’t bother to read that far if they even bother to read beyond the headline.

Pink Sapphire co-owner Ariana Franggos said the two payments last month_ $150 on March 7 and $75 on March 20 — were for doing Edwards’ makeup for television appearances. She handles makeup for local television personalities and was referred to Edwards through that connection.

“This poor guy. I’m telling you, I promise he’s not in here getting facials and cucumber peels on his eyes or anything,” she said.

But come on, can you imagine Karl Rove letting candidate Bush go anywhere near an establishment named the pink anything?

There are many reasons Senator Kerry lost the presidency, but the photos of him wind surfing cast him as a member of the elite out of touch with “ordinary people” despite the fact that this sport is both difficult and not that costly. It was the imagery that hurt him.

Both President Bush and Senator Kerry probably wore tailored suits costing thousands of dollars during the campaign, but who did millions of citizens say they’d rather spend informal time chowing down BBQ with?

A Question of Judgment and Ethics

Okay, it’s been established that John Edwards feels he needs to spend more money on a haircut than it costs to feed a family of four for several weeks. But billing his campaign, or specifically, his campaign contributors, for this raises serious questions about his judgment and to a lesser extent his ethics.

Of course any Democrat will be under the microscope of right wing media, but by billing his campaign for the haircut, let alone even getting such an expensive haircut, Edwards has hurt his quest for the presidency because now the mainstream media has picked it up with headlines like:

“Edwards Haircuts Cost a Pretty Penny”, (Assoicated Press)

“Democratic Hair Apparent” (LA Times)

“His ‘Dos Don’t Come Cheap” (Dallas Morning News)

“Edwards shells out for designer hair” (News and Observer)

“John Edwards staying dapper with spa visits, $400 haircuts” (Denver Post)

and the pithy

“Hairy John” (Fort Wayne News Sentinel)

Even the snarky left-leaning website Wonkette ran a story titled “John Edwards Twice as Gay as Bill Clinton” as Clinton made the news in 1993 because he got a $200 haircut.

As far as ethics go, this makes me wonder whether it even crossed his mind whether his campaign contributors would want their donations spent this way. I don’t see this as a huge ethical transgression, but when you run on a platform that includes bringing integrity to the presidency you want to be beyond reproach. If I gave $400 to a candidate I sure wouldn’t want to think my entire contribution went for a haircut.

When something candidates do has their supporters saying “what could they have been thinking?” you have to question their judgment.


  1. Gerald Sutliff

    I agree that’s a matter of poor ‘political judgment’.
    It’s hurts. I say that as a fan.

  2. packwidget

    Who cares how much he pays for a haircut? The issue is, can he do a good job for this country? We have a spoiled rich president now, one responsible for the deaths of half a million people. A haircut isn’t even in the same league as what Bush did to the poor people in New Orleans after Katrina. He’s still doing it to them. People often focus on something insignificant that can bring a good guy down…because, after all, we can’t have a good guy in the White House, now can we? When we do, they get crucified for things that are irrelevant to their job description.

    John Edwards’ wife if terminally ill. He has young children. Does anyone care about that? At this point I’m not sure who I’m voting for. I think a Clinton/Edwards ticket would be great. But regardless of who I vote for I’m sure Edwards is a good guy. One of the best. Everyone needs to gain a little perspective here.

  3. Carl Nemo

    Re: comments by packwidget et. al

    “Something insignificant that can bring a “good guy” down”…?! Unless you know the guy personally and have so for many years you are like the rest of us; i.e, we don’t know anything about Edwards other than what is projected to the public by his handlers. All of the candidates are nothing put roadside billboard ads with smiling faces looking down upon the passing motorists. Most of them have the depth of that same billboard too, an inch thick or less…!

    As far as feeling sorry for him because he has a sick wife and kids and using that as an apologia as to why anyone should vote for him is ludicrous. We are electing someone to the Presidency of the United States. I want someone that is reasonably honest, doesn’t have a bunch of ugly crap in their closet, is in good health, and has a family stituation that will not be a distraction concerning his or her fiduciary responsiblity to “we the people” of the United States of America while holding the office of president. The office of the president is supposed to be a serious undertaking and the choosing of this individual cannot be predicated on a bunch of boo-hoo, sympathetic nonsense. Anyone who votes for Edwards because they have empathy/sympathy for his wife’s physical condition doesn’t have all their oars in the water.

    Just think of what we’ve suffered under Bush for the past six plus years. Once they are elected we are stuck with them for at last four years. I wish we had a quasi-parliamentary form of government where at the two year mark a vote of confidence was put to electorate. If they fail the vote of confidence, then it’s time to call a new election. The world is too dangerous and we can no longer aford to get stuck with a “pig in a poke” for four years. It should be the same for House reps and Senators too. At the halfway point the people should get to vote on their performance. This would keep them definitely on their toes and the influence peddlars off balance.

  4. Ardie

    If I were Edwards’ advisor I would make the hair his campaign theme. Just before he gets ready to speak he should pull out a comb and comb his hair.

    Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt. Ć¢ā‚¬ā€ William Shakespeare

  5. Sandy Price

    expense account? I never thought of it. I spent hundreds of dollars needlessly. Of course I did not work for the government, but I had to look well groomed in the office.

    Don’t I remember Clinton holding up a flight to get a haircut in Hollywood? I can tell you who needs a haircut and that is Hillary. She looks like an unmade bed.

  6. jennbeez

    As long as he avoids apologizing for having hair. Apologizing has become very popular these days, but that doesn’t mean it works. Just ask Imus or that Seinfeld guy.

    It’s a long time until the vote. Hairgate will be over by then.

  7. makomarv

    Hal Brown wrote: If I gave $400 to a candidate I sure wouldn’t want to think my entire contribution went for a haircut. < I’d gladly have my campaign contribution go to the candidate’s high-end haircut. It’s been too long since since we’ve put a president before the world who was attractive and refined, not toting a fistful of Big Macs, butchering our language, or grappling foreign female dignitaries. And the great thing about a really well-heeled candidate is he won’t have to skulk around on the Halliburton payroll or overtend his shaky business interests. Good values are not precluded by good haircuts. Give me a well-coiffed president with a healthy ego any day who’s not distracted by proving his validity to his mama. M. Kessler

  8. darknyt4

    That is the BEST you can come up with? the Fact that he billed his campaign for haircuts? BIG FAT HAIRY FREAKIN’DEAL! When you have what is arguablly THE MOST CORRUPT ADMINISTRATION THAT THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN in the WHITE HOUSE, a couple of overpriced haircuts do not measure up. Besides, The Rethuglicans can dig this crap up on their own. We do not need to be giving them any help.

    As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you
    can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.-Molly Ivins

  9. jennbeez

    “The Rethuglicans can dig this crap up on their own.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. One thing I really like about this site is that it there are no sacred cows. The commentators speak out against whoever is at fault and let the chips fall where they may. You see more dirt on the conservatives right now due to the sheer volume they are producing.

    Oh, and for future reference it’s “repuglicans”.

  10. Carl Nemo

    The real issue isn’t that he spent that much on haircuts. The real issue is what kind of ego is driving the need for these expensive haircuts? I don’t begrudge the man living in a multi-million dollar home. I look upon that as a personal investment, the place you dwell, but when it comes to “super expensive” haircuts, clothing, shoes etc. it leads me to believe that Edwards is a vain, elitist to the core. How will he treat the public’s money? The Republicans, the so-called party of fiscal conservativism has back-stabbed the American taxpayer for sure.

    He’s was talking about going after Halliburton et. al.for their alleged free-booting ways as contractors in Iraq in his web Q&A’s of about a week ago. You could even watch a video transcript of his “performance”. He just doesn’t seem to wash-out with me. I have a “yellow-alert” showing on my status panel concerning this guy. I also think it’s foolish for folks to waste time on a failed candidate. He failed to impress the electorate when he was on Kerry’s ticket. I consider him to be a political hanger-on being driven by this aforementioned vanity and is more likely than not an “applause junkie” on the political make. Anyway Edwards needs to go immediatelly if not sooner to the ashbin of political campaign history. šŸ˜

  11. SEAL

    Right on Carl. My radar lit up on this guy from the beginning. He’s a light weight. What you see is what you get. There is nothing behind it. He is smart and and very good lawyer who made lots of money. Now the boy who made good wants to play president. He’s an attention junkie. He should never be elected to any public office because he wants it for the wrong reason. As far as I’m concerned he’s a joke.

  12. jennbeez

    Edwards is just touching up his best asset, people. Doesn’t anyone recall how Edwards presented himself in the VP debates? His rebuttals and attacks were so flaccid as to make Dick Cheney appear loaded with gravitas. It was quite annoying to see Edwards constant grinning while making the Prince of Frickin Darkness look like a benign and wise father figure.

    If I may be so audacious, Obama is the Democrats best hope. That is why Faux makes up so much carp about him. Obama is a serious threat and they are afraid of him. They are also afraid of Obama’s hair.